Trump Picks ‘Mr. Fix-It’ to Run Daily Ops at Pentagon

March 16, 2017

Defense One:

Patrick Shanahan’s missile-defense background could prove important in a Trump administration.

Patrick Shanahan has been known to clean up troubled programs at Boeing. His portfolio is about to get much larger.

That’s because President Trump on Thursday said he would nominate Shanahan — currently the senior vice president of supply chain and operations at the Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant — to become deputy defense secretary.

“He was a make-it-happen kind of guy at Boeing,” said Arnold Punaro, a retired Marine major general and former Senate Armed Services Committee aide.

Shanahan would replace Bob Work, a retired Marine Corps colonel who has been in the job for almost three years.

A 2008 Los Angeles Times profile about Shanahan said he is known as “Mr. Fix-It” within Boeing, where he “quietly turned around some of [the company’s] most-troubled and complex programs.”

While the defense secretary is traditionally the Pentagon’s face, traveling around the world, and attending “outside” functions, the deputy is the “insider,” managing the day-to-day operations at the Pentagon. This means overseeing the military’s $600 billion budget and $1.6-trillion weapons portfolio.

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International Cooperation